|Wednes||Wednesday 1st January 2014|
What used to be a home banker has become a little more unpredictable
in the last few years, culminating in Tottenham first win at Old
Trafford last season for the first time in the Premier League.
This season sees two teams in transition with new managers and new
players integrating into the side. It should make for an
interesting game, with both clubs enjoying a resurgence in form
coming into the match.
Manchester United are six games unbeaten and Tottenham three, after an uncertain start for both sides. The previous meeting, just a few weeks ago at the Lane, saw the points shared in a 2-2 draw, with Spurs starting off at a fair lick and United fortunately equalising, but then coming on stronger in the second half. The majority of players will feature again and if referee Webb does his job and let's the game flow, it should be a good one for the neutral.
David De Gea has proved a solid keeper since his signing from Spain and while he has his moments like all keepers, his all round game is pretty good and the only weakness is on crosses, but we have little to trouble him in the air anyway. In front of him, Johnny Evans has been the mainstay in the middle of the back four, in the absence of Rio Ferdinand, while he has been partnered by Nemanja Vidic and Chris Smalling, as injuries have hit them. At full back, Moyes can choose between Rafael and Patrice Evra, while Alexander Buttner, who does not seem the greatest defensively (and is worryingly being linked with Spurs) at left back is another option.
Antonio Valencia, Adnan Januzaj and Tom Cleverley have partnered Jones in midfield up until his injury. There are a variety of riches that Moyes can call into the side in this area of the team. Michael Carrick, the returning from a chronic bowel condition Darren Fletcher, the gravity challenged Ashley Young, the elderly Ryan Giggs, the over looked (although anonymous at the Lane) Japanese international Shinji Kagawa and Brazilian outcast Anderson can also be played in the middle four with Nani and Jones injured.
Wayne Rooney has been given a role to drop deep if he needs to, but he is quick enough to join van Persie in attack when required. But if United are without both of these strikers, Tottenham are likely to face Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck. Both possess good movement and are smart in their positioning in the box, so Spurs will need to be aware of that and be quick to get back goal-side.
It is not unusual to see Man U sitting above Spurs in the table, but it is unusual that it is only one place and that only on goal difference. However, the gung-ho style that Tottenham have adopted since Tim Sherwood took over might get exposed if employed on New Year's Day. I imagine that Sherwood will play a slightly more cautious side out and while I hope Spurs can get a point, I think United's home advantage might see them through (although - like us - they haven't been great at home this season).
|PREDICTION||Manchester United 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Paulinho joins the growing injury list at Tottenham, with ankle ligament damage keeping him out for four weeks. Also sidelined are Sandro (calf), Younes Kaboul (thigh), Andros Townsend and Jermain Defoe (both hamstring), but Kyle Walker has served his one match suspension and will return, while Danny Rose could come back in at left back.
UNITED TEAM NEWS :
David Moyes is hoping to have both Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie fit for the game against Spurs, but Rooney faces a late fitness test, while van Persie may not be ready to play again just yet. Nani is ruled out with a hamstring injury, while Phil Jones (knee), Maroaune Fellaini (thumb) and Rafael (groin) are also unavailable.
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
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Manchester United 1 (0) Tottenham Hotspur
Wednesday 1st January 2014 Kick off 17:30
Rooney (foul on Dembele) 41
Januzaj (simulation) 89
Dembele (foul on Cleverly 81)
|Crowd : 75,265||Weather : Wet, but mild|
|Referee : Howard Webb (West Yorkshire)||Assistant Referees : M. Mullarkey; D. Cann|
|Fourth Official : Neil Swarbrick||-|
|Spurs kicked off and attacked the Stretford End in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 6 minutes.|
|Manchester United :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
1 David DE GEA
Shinji KAGAWA 61)
|Manager : David Moyes||Manager : Tim Sherwood|
|Sponsor : AON||Shirt sponsor : Hewlett Packard|
|Kit Supplier : Nike||Kit Supplier : Under Armour|
A torrent of rain flooded
across Old Trafford as games across the country were hit by the
seasonal bad weather, but it eased off just before kick off as Spurs
played a slick game in beating Manchester United 2-1 with a
|Match ball sponsors||-|
|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|What you thought|
Interesting that Moyes concentrated on the supposed penalties that
his side should have had and that Hugo Lloris should have been sent
off. Perhaps he has selective memory loss as to a time when
United got penalties all the time at Old Trafford and the decisions
all seemed to go their way.
Just two instances that spring to mind are Pedro Mendes;' "goal" that never was - even though it was yards over the goal-line and the goal United were given by Clattenburg, when Nani hand-balled it and Gomes put it down for a free-kick only for the United winger to put the ball into an empty net.
I'm sure if such things happened these days, Moyes would walk onto the pitch and protest with the referee for allowing them to happen !!
And as for the Lloris challenge, nobody has mentioned where the contact took place if it was to be punished by the referee. Hugo failed to make contact with Young, as he jumped (like he usually does) to avoid contact and Lloris' leading leg was on the floor. If his other leg did catch him, by then he was edging out of the area anyway. So, commentators and the United manager needed to actually substantiate where the supposed contact took place. Additionally, If Young hadn't jumped would he have gone down so spectacularly ?
Anyway, like our hard luck stories at Old Trafford, this is one for United and not us.
Three points are welcome to start the New Year and let's hope it's a good one !!
|Other scores during this week :|
|Crystal Palace||1||Norwich City||1||Wednesday|
|Fulham||2||West Ham United||1||Wednesday|
|Swansea City||2||Manchester City||3||Wednesday|
|West Bromwich Albion||1||Newcastle United||0||Wednesday|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||20||4||9||7||23||27||21||-4|
|19||West Ham United||20||3||6||11||19||30||15||-11|
Position before match :
Position after match : 6th
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